Walking Rocks?

Query: When I was in Death Valley earlier this year, I saw some enormous 750-pound rocks that appear to travel across the desert on their own. I remembered your article about rock tortoises, and wondered if that’s what these rocks could be?

Corn of Plenty (Part 4 of 4): A Field Guide by Dr. Midas Welby

Corns of the Air: Air-corns utilize their horns for jousting, playing tic-tac-toe, and spearing food in mid-flight. Air-corns often lurk undetected in trees, wood piles, and rain gutters. When bored, they use their horns to ring the doorbells of unsuspecting humans. When the door begins to open, the air-corn flies away.


fake ad

Xax's blog

Going On Hiatus

December 6, 2014: I am loving college, but I have to admit, I’m overwhelmed.

You Can Help!

Pine Cone Feeders

A Present For Imaginaries: When winter comes, I get concerned about providing extra shelter from the elements for Imaginaries. Recently, I read about people who build wildlife brush shelters out of branches and plants in their yards, and thought this was a great idea.

Contact us
Article Image

Tiny Dragons at the Double Helix Ranch!

The Ways of Dragons: I just started my apprenticeship here at the Double Helix Ranch, and the first thing I learned is that just about everything I thought I knew about dragons is wrong. Did you know that not all dragons breathe fire, and some dragons are as small as a lizard (see picture), and that Asian dragons can change their size from tiny to huge, depending on what they eat? I didn’t know that either.

There are three main families of dragons – European, Asian, and American.

The European dragons are the ones we hear about in fairy tales, those big, fire-breathing, scale-covered creatures with wings. European dragons are the most aggressive of the dragon species, especially when protecting their nesting sites or their hoards of gold, but they’re also not very intelligent, so they’re easy to trick in battle.

This could be why knights in olden days of yore liked to go out and slay dragons as a test of their courage. If the knight could dodge the dragon-fire long enough to get in close, a smart man could outwit a dim-witted dragon, and win the contest.

There are many more species of Asian dragons than European dragons, including a number of flightless dragons, and some water-dwelling ones. Most Asian dragons can change their size readily, from tiny to enormous and back again, which they do by changing their diet – sugar to grow, milk and cheese to shrink.

Asian dragons also have a reputation for being less aggressive than European dragons. The one I met here at the ranch was pretty fierce, but Nonny says I only think that because I haven’t met a European dragon yet. I wonder if Asian dragons are more peaceable because Asian warriors in days of yore were not all that interested in dragon-slaying as a sport, so the dragons didn’t need to be as ferocious. Nonny says that Asian dragons are also a little smarter than European ones, but if they are, it can’t be by much. The one I met wasn’t all that bright.

The Americas have both land dragons and water dragons, but none of them breathe fire, at least as far as we know. Most American land dragons are very small – the size of small lizards up to alligator-size, although some look like snakes too – and are often mistaken for other reptiles. American water-dragons can grow very large, and are more common in South and Central America, although a few still live up in more remote areas of Canada and maybe there are still some in the US as well. American dragons are supposed to be more timid than either European or Asian dragons, and will run away rather than fight, which is another reason why they’re so hard to tell apart from lizards.

The most important thing I’ve learned about dragons is that if you ever go out dragon-hunting, always bring string cheese, and never chew gum or eat candy or drop anything sweet on the trail, even by accident. - 49, Apprentice Agent, Iranigami


Copyright © 2012, 2013, 2014 by Penelope Stowell. All rights reserved. This website is a work of fiction and does not depict any actual persons, creatures, places or events.